The Toyota bZ Compact SUV Concept Previews Toyota's EV Future

Toyota is hot to expand its "beyond zero" electric vehicle sub-brand, and this small EV crossover concept looks ready for production.

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Toyota bZ Compact SUV Concept
Image: Toyota

After years of waiting, Toyota finally got in on the electric vehicle game with the uniquely named bZ4X EV crossover, developed in parallel with the Subaru Solterra. Following that, Toyota is pressing ahead with its plans for a whole bZ-branded line of EVs. The next vehicle in the bZ lineup will most likely be a small crossover, a vehicle that Toyota previewed today at the Los Angeles Auto Show with the concept you see here, the charmingly named bZ Compact SUV.

Toyota bZ Compact SUV Concept rear
Image: Toyota

Toyota says the bZ Compact SUV concept previews an EV that will be fun to drive with “exhilarating performance.” It’s all part of the company’s “Beyond Zero” next generation of EVs (hence, “bZ”). The shape of this bZ concept is all aerodynamics, Toyota says, with sharp overhangs and a sleek windshield that helps it achieve a low drag coefficient. Designers also pushed the wheels to the corners as far as they could for an aggressive stance. While there’s definitely some family resemblance with the bigger bZ4X, this concept shows us the next step of the design features we’ve seen on the recently unveiled Toyota Crown and the just-debuted-today 2023 Toyota Prius, especially in the front end.

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Toyota bZ Compact SUV Concept interior
Image: Toyota

Sustainability is the name of the game with EVs, and Toyota’s designers took that to heart with this concept car’s interior. It’s described as edgy and premium, with most surfaces covered by some material that’s been recycled or sustainably sourced. For instance, the seats are made from both plant-based and recycled materials.

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The tech is there too. Engineers put in a virtual in-car assistant named Yui. This assistant uses both lighting and audio cues to respond to voice commands from driver and passengers.

Toyota bZ Compact SUV Concept
Image: Toyota
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Toyota hasn’t said whether or not this concept has production intent, but given the production-style details on this vehicle, and how much excitement there is in the small electric crossover category, we think it’s a pretty sure bet. Toyota hopes to have 30 all-electric vehicles on the market worldwide at some point soon, so we may just see the production version of this bZ sooner than later.